Bob Foster's ordinary but effective evangelism

by Sophia Lee

Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at 10:28 am

When I first interviewed 94-year-old Bob Foster I thought I could glean some interesting historical tidbits about the post–WWII days of evangelicalism (see “Let it be seen in me”). After all, Foster rubbed shoulders with a lot of major figures in that movement, and he’s one of the last remaining individuals still alive and crisp-minded enough to tell the story. I met him at his home in Orange County, Calif., expecting him to name-drop and stroke the history buff in me. 

But by the end of our two-hour interview, it was Foster’s testimony that moved me the most, because he was so relatable to the average Christian—someone like me. 

Most Christians will probably not earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as Billy Graham did, but every Christian can and should be evangelizing as a witness of Christ during our time on earth. I was very much encouraged to learn even about Foster’s weaknesses, his gradual—at times slow—spiritual growth, and his quiet, understated way of influencing people around him, because it gave me bold confidence that I, too, can make such an impact among my secular community. 

Foster may seem like an ordinary man in the eyes of most people. He never rose to fame as many of his co-workers did, and few Christians today recognize his name, yet it was evident to me that he, too, earned his heavenly crown. Foster used what he was good at—the hospitality business, one-to-one mentoring—and combined it with what he loves—trees, horses, people, and the outdoors—to evangelize. It didn’t take extraordinary resources or spectacular experiences. Foster simply used what God gave him to perform what every Christian is called to do: to know, study, and cherish God’s Word, and then to live it out to the end of his days as best and as joyfully as he can. 

If I ever live to be 94 years old, I want to be a student and witness of Jesus Christ as he still is.

Sophia Lee

Sophia is a senior reporter for WORLD Magazine. She is a World Journalism Institute and University of Southern California graduate. Sophia resides in Los Angeles, Calif., with her husband. Follow her on Twitter @SophiaLeeHyun.

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